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volunteers

Maricopa CERT volunteers (from left) Bill Robertson, Jim Fuller and Charles Morene. Photo by Mason Callejas

In the event of an emergency or disaster, when its firefighters and paramedics are in need of support services, the Maricopa Fire/Medical Department turns to a group of dedicated volunteers to lend a hand.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), is a band of ordinary citizens trained to provide support services including crowd control, hydration and other emergency assistance.

As part of National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, the program and one of its instructor and key coordinators, Jim Fuller, were recognized by the city for their past assistance and growing number of contributions.

Fuller, formerly a volunteer for the Maricopa Police Department, was part of CERT’s founding in 2012 and is now in his fifth year on the team. He, more than most, knows the importance of the typical support services they provide, though he also recognizes the team has much larger, more vital role.

“Day to day, it’s important because we offer rehab to firefighters,” Fuller said. “But in terms of the city, someday we may be called upon if there is a real disaster at some point.”

Though it was not quite a natural disaster, CERT made its first appearance at the Country Thunder music festival this year in Florence, where they assisted with ill and sometimes unruly attendees. At the festival’s medical rehabilitation tents, CERT members provided water and respite for dehydrated and overheated concert-goers, even assisting with a “minor stabbing incident and cardiac arrest.”

Fire inspector and MFMD CERT coordinator Eddie Rodriguez feels the program is invaluable, not only for the material support it lends at events, but also for the safety and security they help provide for their neighborhoods and communities. When things go bad, he said, the community needs people to help until the MFMD can arrive.

“The idea is to have somebody in each subdivision so when we do have that disaster they can take care of each of their neighborhoods,” Rodriguez said.

In the event of a disaster, he added, it’s much like the emergency procedures on a plane: “You take care of yourself and your family first, then your neighbors.”

Falling under the umbrella of FEMA, CERT is a national program that prepares ordinary citizens to “help themselves, their families and neighbors in the event of a disaster.”

CERT volunteer Bill Robertson emphasized the volunteers are not trained to provide more than just basic medical attention, though their knowledge in emergency preparedness and response can certainly keep a tough situation from becoming worse.

Their role, he said, is really to “cover that gap between when a disaster happens and when emergency services can arrive.”

CERT and programs like it have assisted in disaster events such as hurricanes Katrina and Rita, earthquakes in California, wildfires in Oregon and Texas and even at the World Trade Center in the days following Sept. 11, 2001.

In Arizona, the program is one of five offered through the state’s Department of Homeland Security Citizen Corps, each designed to assist emergency responders of all types when dealing with disasters.

Other programs include Volunteer in Police Service (VIPS), the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), the Fire Corps (FC), and USAonWatch/Neighborhood Watch.

Those interested in actively volunteering for Maricopa CERT can contact Jim Fuller by email at jimfuller1934@gmail.com, or by phone at 520-840-5293.

For information on any of the other volunteer programs offered by the AZDHS visit citizencorps.gov.

F.O.R. Maricopa Executive Director Wendy Webb sees many volunteers help at the food bank.

Need something to do? Want to help others through service or with funds? Maricopa has a wealth of nonprofits and volunteer opportunities.

The Maricopa Chamber of Commerce encouraged its members to get involved last month with its inaugural October Chamber Challenge. Members were asked to volunteer for 10 hours or donate to a worthy cause within a month’s time.

In a season of giving thanks, can you do the same? Here are some opportunities:

Against Abuse, Inc.
119 N. Florence St., Casa Grande
520-836-1239 (Admin)
520-836-0858 (Crisis)
Against-Abuse.org

Aid 4 Greys
42737 W. Ocean Breeze Drive
info@aid4greys.com
Aid4Greys.com

Ak-Chin Social Services
48227 W. Farrell Road
520-568-1090

American Cancer Society (Relay for Life)
1636 N. Swan Road, Suite 151, Tucson
520-247-8453
MaricopaRelay@gmail.com

American Legion Post 133
44240 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.
P.O. Box 152
ALPost133az.org

Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped
209 W. Main St., Casa Grande
520-836-9798
AZAFH.com

Arizona Knights, Inc.
P.O. Box 246
520–477–9491
ArizonaKnights.com

Arizona Partnership for Children
500 N. Florence Ave., Casa Grande
866-800-9468
MarthaH@ccs-soaz.org

Arizona Poodle Rescue Inc.
20270 N. Toledo Ave.
APRVolunteers@gmail.com
ArizonaPoodleRescue.org

Blue Star Mothers of Maricopa, AZ
P.O. Box 1397
520-709-0539
BlueStarMothersOfMaricopa.org

Butterfield Elementary PTO
43800 W. Honeycutt Road
520-568-6100
Facebook.com/Butterfield.PTO

Central Arizona College – Maricopa Center
17945 W. Regent Drive
520-494-5230
Chris.Wodka@centralaz.edu

Copa Shorts Film Fest
42091 W. Venture Court
520-568-0199
CopaShortsFilmFest.org

EMPACT-SPC (La Frontera)
21300 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 103
520-316-6068
Empact-SPC.com

Families United, Inc
P.O. Box 1620
480-809-3206

F.O.R Maricopa Food Bank and Resource Center
44625 W. Garvey Ave.
520-251-0226
FORMaricopa.org

Volunteer---Jim-Crowe
Friends of the Maricopa Public Library
P.O. Box 663
520-450-0991
MaricopaFriends.yolasite.com

Graysmark School Corporation
44400 W. Honeycutt Road, Suite 105
520-568-5750

Halos of Hope Inc.
20987 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite B104-432
Info@HalosOfHope.org
HalosOfHope.org

Kiwanis Club of Maricopa
20928 N. John Wayne Parkway
520-510-8000
MaricopaKiwanis.org

Legacy Traditional School
17760 W. Regent Drive
520-423-9999
Teresa.Tate@legacytraditional.org

Maricopa Amateur Radio Association, Inc.
P. O. Box 951
520-568-6357
Info@CopaHams.org

Maricopa ARTS Council
22019 N. O’Sullivan Drive
520-568-8883
MaricopaArtsCouncil.wixsite.com/MaricopaArtsCouncil

Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship
20800 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 108
520-510-5535
MaricopaInnovates.com

Maricopa Chamber of Commerce
44480 W. Honeycutt Road, Suite 106
520-568-9573
MaricopaChamber.org

Maricopa Economic Development Alliance
20987 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite B104-384
520-568-6442

Maricopa Education Foundation
P.O. Box 1203
520-840-2633
MaricopaEducationFoundation.org

Maricopa Football Booster Club
45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.
MHSRamsFootball@gmail.com

Maricopa Girl ScoutsGirl-Scout-volunteers
Arizona-Cactus Pine Council
119 E. Coronado Road, Phoenix
602-452-7000

Maricopa High School DECA
45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.
520-568-8100, ext. 4047
BRussioniello@musd20.org

Maricopa Historical Society
P.O. Box 902
520-509-4429
MHS50.com
Contact@MHS50.com

Maricopa Lions Club
40291 W. Lococo St
Facebook.com/MaricopaLionsClub

Maricopa Police Department Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)
39675 W. Civic Center Plaza
520-316-6800
VAPS@Maricopa-AZ.gov

Volunteer---Barry-Vogel

Maricopa Police Foundation Inc.
P.O. Box 446
520-568-7875

Maricopa Rotary
44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.
P.O. Box 892
520-483-1949
Portal.ClubRunner.ca/2896

Maricopa Seniors Inc
43466 W. Neely Drive
Info@MaricopaSeniors.com
MaricopaSeniors.com

Maricopa Trailblazers 4-H Club
602-390-6963 / 520-709-2519
Maricopa_Trailblazers.webs.com

Maricopa Unified School District
44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.
520-568-8100, ext. 1003
TBeckett@musd20.org

Volunteers---Murray-and-Sharon-Siegel
Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA
44240 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.
626-399-6255
Comd10@yahoo.com

MVCC Food Bank

Jim-Shoaf---Maricopa-Pantry

50881 N. Papago Road
MVCCFoodBank.com

Pathway PTO
19265 N. Porter Road
520-568-9333
PathwayPTO.org

Pet Social Worker/Tails of Hope
480-452-7997
PetSocialWorker.org

Pima Butte PTO Inc.
42202 W. Rancho El Dorado Parkway
520-568-7150

Pinal 40 Inc.
2035 N. Overfield Road, Casa Grande
Pinal40.org

Pinal County NAACP
P.O. Box 837
909-437-8915
JcksnConnieJean@aol.com

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office
P.O. Box 867, Florence
520-866-5260
Deborah.Lopez@pinalcountyaz.gov

Rocking 4D Foundation, Inc.

Ashley Abercrombie (left) and Jennifer Ford are seeking and collecting donations for Maricopa youth who are victims of violence. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

19368 N. Lariat Road
619-855-5059
Rocking4DFoundation.org

Salvation Army Service Extension Unit
520-705-6509
MariocpaSalvationArmy@yahoo.com

Sequoia Pathway Academy
19265 N. Porter Road
520-568-9333
SequoiaPathway.org

Sun Life Family Health Center
44572 W. Bowlin Road
520-568-2245
ReneeL@slfhc.org

The Streets Don’t Love You Back
P.O. Box 1093
513-371-0982
TheStreetsDontLoveYouBack.ning.com

United Way of Pinal County
P.O. Box 10541, Casa Grande AZ 85130
520-836-0736 / 800-390-0736
UnitedWayofPC.org
SuccessBy6PinalCounty.org

Vetit Inc.
20800 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 108
520-233-3085
Facebook.com/VetitUSA

VFW Post 12043
44240 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.
520-568-2186
MaricopaVFW.org

Vietnam Aviation Veterans of Arizona
P.O. Box 513
602-571-1059

Youth Health USA
20928 N. John Wayne Pkwy, Suite C-13 #151
520-568-2810
YouthHealthUSA.org

Zonta Club of Casa Grande Valley
P.O. Box 11342, Casa Grande
520-560-5487
ZontaClubOfCGV@gmail.com
ZontaAZ.org

Volunteer---Debbie-Angwood
This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.